November 9th, 2012
My internet, I mean. Not my sanity. I don’t think that’s EVER coming back, not fully. And I sort of don’t want it to. Not totally. I want to be JUST crazy enough to continue to live life outside of the box.
For the last 11 days, we have had no internet and no cable, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, and we have been going ABSOLUTELY BATSHIT.
Let me be absolutely clear, though: I am VERY VERY GRATEFUL that the most we had to worry about was internet and cable, which are really not necessities for living (although you’d never know it from the way we lost our minds cheering when it came back on.) There are people who have lost homes, lives, their lives have been devastated. I know this. So I am not in ANY way pretending that what we have “suffered” is serious. This is very tongue-in-cheek. It was a pain in the ass, to be sure. But we know it’s an inconvenience, not a life-changer.
Our neighbor down the hill STILL doesn’t have power, and now the nights have gotten cold. She’s running a very long outside cord from one of our outside outlets all the way down the hill so that she can give herself some light and heat. I’m praying she will get it back on soon.
We’re thinking that if this weather pattern is going to continue, buying a generator might not be such a bad idea…
Now, to the pet peeve. You may recall that in my LAST pet peeve, I was annoyed at the amount of time it takes for money, YOUR money, to be refunded to you. You BUY something, money disappears immediately. You take it BACK, you don’t see that money for 7-10 days.
Well, here’s a related pet peeve that I have with our freaking cable company.
We have not had cable or internet for 11 days. The cable company has agreed to credit the accounts of people who lost service.
BUT! There’s always a BUT!
Once service has been restored, we have to CALL THEM WITHIN 30 DAYS TO GET THE CREDIT.
WHY? WHY WHY WHY?
There have been times where I have forgotten to pay the bill, and next thing you know, we lose internet and cable. I know, I should have these payments automated, but I have encountered too many mistakes on bills to trust that process. I like to see the bills and examine them before paying, unless it’s something that never changes, like my car note. You automate it, you stop looking, and next thing you’re paying for extra services that someone “thought” you added or some such nonsense. “What? You mean you didn’t order the Porn All Day All Night package? Oh dear!” No, I don’t automate cellphone bills or cable bills or credit card bills.
So, when I have forgotten to pay the cable bill and they shut it off, I immediately call from my cellphone and make a payment over the phone and within 15 minutes, the service is back on. I do not have to speak to anyone. This is all AUTOMATED and the whole process from them turning it off to them turning it back ON takes all of 10 minutes from the time I notice it’s off. They KNOW when my account is overdue, they shut it off, and they KNOW when I have paid it and they turn it back on.
So, with this damn storm, they KNOW when I lost service. They KNOW this. And they KNOW that they just turned it back on. They KNOW this. So WHY do I need to CALL THEM to say, hey, my service was out for 11 days and now I need a credit to my account? WHY? It’s one extra step that is unnecessary, one more step in the Give-Me-Back-My-Money process. And I HATE that.
I’m trying not to get too annoyed about it, because what can I do? If I want the damn credit, I have to call. And probably sit on hold forever as they get calls from the hundreds of THOUSANDS of OTHER people who also lost service.
Maybe I’ll do it while I’m at Punksin’s swim practice crocheting or writing or something. You know, while I am doing SOMETHING ELSE, so that sitting on hold doesn’t drive me crazy. (Which we all know doesn’t take much.)
Well, I do have LOTS of other stuff to catch you guys up on, so stay tuned. Writing from my iPhone was…well, it was nice to know that I could do it in a pinch, but really, it’s not something I want to make a habit of. Good for those impromptu posts on the run, though!
And finally, a little PSA here? Without the internet, it’s been hard for me to get a real grasp of the devastation that communities on the East Coast suffered. Seaside towns in New Jersey, Staten Island, parts of Queens in NYC, these places have been hit HARD. I’ve seen a few photos and thanks to people I know in the areas, I’ve been able to get a few glimpses into it and it’s heartbreaking, and surprising because in our immediate areas, the hurricane itself was frightening but there were no massive losses like that. If you are not yourself suffering some hardship due to these recent storms, I urge you, I BEG you, to donate something, somewhere, somehow. Whatever agency you feel comfortable with, whether it’s money or toothpaste or clothes or your time, please help. Please please help. Many of us have been incredibly responsive to international catastrophes such as the tsunami in Indonesia and the earthquake in Haiti. This is closer to home and I’m not in any way saying that makes it MORE important because I do believe in my heart that we need to think and respond globally and realize that we are ALL connected. But just…do what you can. $10, a box of kids’ clothes…it all helps. It takes 100 pennies to make $1.00 and it takes 100 dollar bills to make $100, and if you keep going, all of a sudden you have a nice amount to work with. So please…do what you can.